The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives has released the comments it will file today with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding the EHR Incentive Program.
A summary of the comments also is available, said the organization, which has 1,400 members representing chief information officers and other top information technology executives at many of the nation’s largest hospitals. The regulations were unveiled on December 30, 2009, and responses are due back to the government by March 15.
“We wanted to make our position known on the proposed regulations,” said Pamela McNutt,senior vice president and CIO at Methodist Health System, Dallas, and a Chair of CHIME’s policy steering committee.
CHIME has coordinated efforts with other industry organizations, such as the AmericanHospital Association, to thoroughly research key concerns and reach a consensus on responses that provide guidance on how to successfully roll out the incentive program.
“We expect that our views will prove useful to other organizations developing comments and will foster alignment of comments to CMS,” said David Muntz, FCHIME, senior vice president and CIO at Baylor Health Care System, Dallas.
CHIME comments address what it calls “critical concerns” regarding the proposed regulations governing the meaningful use of EHRs, as well as parts of the regulation document for which the industry needs clarification.
One of CHIME’s critical concerns is that the regulations outline an “all-or-nothing” approach to defining and achieving meaningful use that is too ambitious, doesn’t take into account the need for flexibility by providers and does not reward incremental progress.
“With an approach that rewards progress or provides sufficient time, organizations with limited resources will likely have little chance of qualifying for payments, thus widening the ‘digital divide’ in the country,” CHIME’s comments say.
Source: College of Health Information Management Executives